The Nigeria Railway Corporation has suspended the Lagos-Kano and Ajaokuta train services due to fear of terrorist attacks.
Multiple sources in the Ministry of Transportation and the NRC confided in PUNCH correspondent that the train services would not resume until the security along the Lagos-Kano route and the Ajaokuta train station was guaranteed.
It was also learnt that the NRC suspended services at the Ajaokuta station along Warri-Itakpe route because of the attack on some passengers by gunmen on Monday.
It was gathered that the Lagos-Kano train services were suspended because of the high level of insecurity in Niger and Kaduna states, which are the routes of the train heading to Kano from Lagos.
The NRC Managing Director, Fidet Okhiria, confirmed the suspension of the train services at the Ajaokuta station and the Lagos-Kano route on Tuesday.
Speaking on the services along the Warri-Itakpe route, he stated, “We have not stopped (services), rather what we said was that we are not going to be stopping at the Ajaokuta station.
“This is because yesterday (Monday), while passengers were leaving the station with their private cars and buses, they had people shooting at them. So we said we will not stop there again for passengers.
“The train is still running, but for now we will not be stopping at Ajaokuta because they have some concerns there. We heard that they removed their traditional ruler in that location and the local government chairman there.”
According to him, apart from the Abuja-Kaduna route, the corporation had also suspended services on the Lagos-Kano route because of security concerns.
Asked if there was any other train service that was not operating aside from the Abuja-Kaduna service, the NRC boss said, “No, apart from the Lagos to Kano (train service) because the Kaduna route is affected by the activities of bandits; and it (Lagos-Kano route) was stopped because we have to pass through Minna and Kaduna when heading to Kano. So we have to stop it for now.”
The Federal Government had on August 13, 2021, resumed the operations of the Lagos-Kano train service.
The Regional District Manager, Northern District of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Mr. Ismail Adebiyi, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria on August 8.